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Foods you should never freeze

Your freezer allows you to do everything from plan meals ahead to eliminate food waste. While you can usually throw in most dinner dishes or leftovers and be fine, the super cold temperature isn’t ideal for all foods. Certain ingredients can morph into something gross once thawed or even become a health hazard. The freezer has it’s limits. Here are some foods that just shouldn’t be frozen: Milk While it would be nice to have a few quarts of this staple item stowed away, milk stored in the freezer can separate into chunks and turn watery when it thaws. It is still technically safe to consume when this happens, but the consistency won’t be anything like what you would expect for your morning coffee or cereal. If you absolutely must free milk, try putting it in an ice cube tray to lessen the effect. Pull it out, and you won’t…

10 mistakes you’re probably making when cooking pasta

Pasta is so simple, even a broke college kid can make it, right? Well, yes, if simply scarfing down calories is your goal. It doesn’t take much know-how to boil water, open a jar of sauce, and hope for the best. But if you want a delicious, authentic Italian-American plate of al dente pasta, there are many nuances to master. From leaving the noodles in the colander to not salting the water, here are 8 common mistakes we’ve all made when cooking pasta. Also see, Avocado whole wheat pasta salad. 1. Your pot is too small Size does matter. Pasta should be swimming because it will soak up water and expand. Once it expands, if there isn’t enough water left, it will get mushy and sticky. For 1 pound of pasta, fill a 4 or 5 quart pot about 3/4 of the way with water and boil. For 2 pounds of…

Easy Tomato Basil and Gnocchi soup

Need to thaw out from the winter weather? This recipe combines two of the most delicious cold weather comfort foods on the planet — pasta and soup. A big bowl of this filling soup and you’ll be toasty for hours. What’s even better? It’s ready in less than a half hour. Seriously. A food this delicious that’s also ready in about 25 minutes — you’re going to fall in love with this recipe. If you’re not familiar with gnocchi, you can usually find them in the pasta section at any well-stocked grocery store. They’re often vacuumed-packaged and sold next to the boxed pastas. They might also be in the frozen foods aisle near the ravioli and stuffed shells. So what are they? Confession, this description might be a bit biased because I LOVE gnocchi. They’re these pillowy puffs of pasta with a slightly chewy texture, never tough, always just the…

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese perfect for fall

Here’s an earthy mac and cheese that takes a risk and wins! Pumpkin and cheese are actually make a great flavor combination. If you’re skeptical, substitute for another squash such as butternut squash. This quick dish is yummy and totally fun for fall. Imagine the surprise when you tell everyone it has a touch of pumpkin! The flavor isn’t overwhelming. It’s just subtle enough that you can taste the unique fall take on this class comfort food. Pumpkin puree has a moist, velvety texture, and it will keep the cheese gooey a little longer, I find. I like to grate my own cheese because it melts faster too, but whether you buy bagged or block, make sure it’s extra sharp cheddar — there’ just more flavor that way. Note: Be sure to use pumpkin puree and nothing labeled “pumpkin pie mix.” The latter has lots of spices mixed. Pumpkin Mac and…

Easy 20-minute Bone Broth Chicken Noodle Soup

Think back to your childhood. If there was one guarantee when you got sick, it was that Grandma would be making you a big batch of chicken noodle soup. But does chicken noodle soup have any actual impact on impending sniffles? According to UPMC, when you’re sick, your immune system can receive support to help fight infections from standard cold and over-the-counter medicines. However, in some cases, the nutrients you get from a big bowl of chicken noodle soup can give additional aid to that support system. Studies have shows that the anti-inflammatory effects from the ingredients in chicken noodle soup can help ease cold symptoms, while the warm broth can clear nasal congestion. So while it may not be a miracle cure-all, chicken noodle soup makes a great meal when you’re feeling under the weather because it’s packed with nutrients. They are easy to digest, soothing to the throat…

Eating this amount of pasta could add years on to your life

Carb lovers, rejoice! A new study suggests that eating pasta could help you live longer, while following low-carb diets such as Atkins could increase your risk of dying young. Scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston analyzed data on 432,179 people and found that those who ate a “moderate” amount of carbs — about 50 to 55 percent of calories from carbohydrates like potatoes, pasta, and bread — could expect to live about four years longer. The findings were published in The Lancet Public Health journal. The study found that those who eat low-carb diets are more likely to have a lower intake of fresh fruit, vegetables, and healthy grains, and in their place, substitute more meat. This decrease in the variety of nutrients can lead to an increase in biological aging and a shortened lifespan. While low-carb diets like Atkins have fueled thinking that carbs are somehow bad…

Researchers find out how to break spaghetti in just two pieces

Unless you own an enormous pot (or you’re a true Italian), chances are you snap your spaghetti in two before tossing it into the boiling water. But unless you’re superhuman, when you break that pasta in half you’ve probably dealt with those tiny pieces of dried pasta breaking off and whizzing through the air. At some point you may have wondered why spaghetti doesn’t just simply snap in half, or if there is a better way to do so. https://youtu.be/QwCJDEt8GfE As it turns out, in 2006, a pair of scientists took to solving this kitchen dilemma. Essentially, what happens is that the dry noodle bends before it breaks. This extra power means that when it finally breaks, it does so with more power and the vibrations it sends back through the remaining pieces cause them to bend and break as well. The discovery won the scientists an Ig Nobel, but…

Mediterranean tricolored rotini crab pasta salad

I make this recipe no less than 10 times a year. It’s always a hit at friend gatherings. It’s a must at Memorial Day. I never have leftovers when I bring it to work potlucks, and it’s perfect to have ready in the fridge anytime you think people might stop by. Plus, you can prepare it the night before, never worry about keeping it hot, and you can adapt the recipe to make as much as you like. When you have to feed a large number of people, try this pasta salad instead of your go-to lasagne. I made a huge bowl of this for my friends after they had their baby and they appreciated someone finally brought them something lighter and healthier! You can add anything to the mix from shredded mozzarella to sunflower seeds or blueberries. I like tossing in mandarin orange slices for a touch of sweetness and crushed croutons for some…

Eating pasta three times a week won’t make you fat, new study shows

Spaghetti. Rigatoni. Fettuccini. It’s everyone’s favorite — pasta — and Italian lovers everywhere can rejoice over new research that reveals the popular pantry item won’t make you fat. While the joys of pasta are undeniable (is there anyone out there who doesn’t love diving into a big bowl of bolognese?) its healthfulness has always been in question. In recent years, low-carb options like quinoa have taken a bite out of pasta sales as health-minded adults feared packing on the pounds. But science now tells us, that eating a portion of penne up to three time a week won’t make you fat, and it might even help you slim down. Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto conducted 30 randomized control trials involving nearly 2,500 people who replaced their regular carbohydrates with pasta as part of a healthy low-glycemic index diet. The findings? Pasta doesn’t not cause you to put on extra body fat. “The study found that pasta didn’t contribute to…

Creamy avocado pesto sauce with veggie noodles

Pasta never gets old. Just change the sauce and the veggies and you have an entirely different meal. This pasta and sauce combo puts a California twist on an old favorite — pesto. Avocado is so versatile. If you’ve only been using it as a breakfast food or burrito topping, you’ve been missing out. Its unbelievably creamy texture adds tons of flavor and it coats almost any type of noodle really well — Angel hair, farfalle, whole wheat rigatoni. Add in a few handfuls of basil and some nuts for texture, and you’ll have a seriously satisfying sauce and spread. I chose veggie noodles (sometimes called zoodles because of the zucchini) as my base to give this dish a truly West Coast kind of feel. You can make them with lots of different vegetables by using a spiralizer or by carefully and thinly slicing each vegetable with a knife. As a time saver, or if…